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Isaiah 41:1 Fear

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Believers in Jesus do not need to fear what will happen. He will take care of you and remove your enemies.

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Isaiah 41:1-16

“In this section of the book, the Lord seven times says, ‘Fear not!’ to His people (41:10, 13, 14: 43:1, 5: 44:2, 8), and He says ‘Fear not! To us today.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament Prophets. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2002], 50)

1. “The prophet pictured God addressing the international courtroom and summarizing his case against the foreign gods.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HOTC Vol. 15: Isaiah. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from]

“God convenes the court and asks the nations to present their case against Him, if they can.” (Wiersbe, 50)

2. “God put forward two challenging questions (2a,4a both begin with ‘who’) then offers two answers to these questions (2b-3, 4b).” (Smith, Gary V., The New American Commentary, Volume 15B, Isaiah 40-66. [Nashville, B & H Publishing Group, 2009], 128)

“The first half of the question focuses on ‘who’ controls the political events that were happening at that time (the rise of the strong king). This stirring refers to God motivating or directing some ruler to go to war, but the name of the king is not provided.” (Smith, 128)

3. “Verses 2-3 build tension by implying but not revealing explicitly who empowers this unidentified conquering king (was it God or some foreign gods?).” (Smith, 130)

4. “The two ‘I am’ clauses in 4b answer the questions in 41:2-4a; they emphasize God’s claim to sovereignty over history.” (Smith, 130)


5. “Once the far away island and coastland nations hear what God is doing through this powerful king he is directing to defeat other nations, they respond with great fear and trembling.” (Smith, 130)

6. “All these foreign nations can do is frantically turn to one another for mutual support and encouragement.” (Smith, 130)

7. “In order to show the Israelite audience how ridiculous this worldview is, the prophet describes that their deluded trust in idols made by skilled craftsmen, goldsmiths, and other workers.” (Smith, 131)

“It all depends on the nail or peg that will keep the idol standing up securely on a pedestal. If that gives away the idol is in danger of falling over.” (Smith, 131)

8. “God says, ‘Instead of hammering out an idol, why not turn to Me?’” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III. [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 288)

9. “God reminds the audience that their forefathers at one time were living at the far ends of the earth (probably referring to Abram living in Ur), but this did not limit God’s ability to act on his behalf.” (Smith, 134)


10. “This verse has been a real pillar of strength and a source of comfort to God’s children of every age.” (McGee, 288)

“The reason why fear is unnecessary is initially found in the two motive clauses that explain that ‘I am with you’ and ‘I am your God.’” (Smith 135)

“Because of God’s power and love, people in the past and today can face the trails of life with courage, for God’s promise to be with his people has not changed (Matthew 28:18-20).” (Smith, 135)

11. “God’s presence and strengthening with result in the defeat of Judah’s enemies (41:11-12).” (Smith, 135)

12. “The enemy will perish, will become ‘as nothing’ an idea emphasized by announcing it in both 41:11 and 12 (agreeing with 40:15,17). (Smith, 136)

13. “With God’s helping hand the seemingly impossible (the defeat of an enemy) would become possible because ‘I am the Lord your God,’ the very one who is speaking these promises.” (Smith, 136)

14. “It is only God who can make any of us important. Only God can make a man a somebody. The only place man can turn is to God.” (McGee, 288)

“Is there any honor in being called a ‘worm’? (41:14-16) ‘Servant’ defined what they were by God’s grace and calling, but ‘worm’ described what they were in themselves.” (Wiersbe, 51)

15. “It is best to relate these images to the victory God would bring over both their physical enemies (the waring army) and the psychological enemy of feeling powerless (the worm image) that destroyed the confidence of these Israelites.” (Smith, 138)

16. “Fear will turn to salvation and redemption from trouble will result in thankful praise to the Holy One. Indeed, all praise goes to God Almighty.” (Smith, 138)


Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HOTC Vol. 15: Isaiah. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
Smith, Gary V., The New American Commentary, Volume 15B, Isaiah 40-66. Nashville, B & H Publishing Group, 2009
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament Prophets. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2002


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